I’VE often wanted to learn more about Middle-Eastern cuisine, so instead of blowing the dust off my copy of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem, I ate a surfeit of Levantine food at Propeller.
Located beside the North Freo Town Hall, the restaurant is run by Siobhan Blumann and Hamish Fleming, and adds an exotic dining option to the town centre.
Converted from an old bus shed, the restaurant’s rear dining area is industrial, yet feels intimate.
A blue shipping container—an architectural nod to the port—connects to a high ceiling dining room, designed by renowned architects Michael Patroni and Tobias Busch, where louvre windows flood the area with natural light.
The alfresco area overlooks the street and some manicured grass, which is perfect for relaxing with a glass of vino and nibbles.
The seasonal menu, created by chef Kurt Sampson, is inspired by his love of Levantine cuisine.
Breakfast goers wanting a Turkish twist can have poached eggs with yoghurt sauce, chilli oil dressing and spiced flatbread ($18).
Come lunch and dinner time it’s more street food with share-plates, and the menu is split into nibbles, garden, sea, paddock and from the oven.
Out of curiosity my dining partner and I ordered the fried cauliflower, kale, goats cheese and spiced raisin salad ($16), and the mushroom manoushe pizza with garlic, blue cheese and pine nuts ($17), with two recommended glasses of plonk from their diverse wine cellar.
The food quickly arrived and the cauliflower—which I thought was the blandest of vegetables—was brimming with flavour, surpassing all my expectations.
I’ve got quite traditional tastes in pizza and don’t really go beyond mozzarella, but the rich and unconventional flat-bread version was moorish and interesting enough to make me question my margarita faith.
The more trusting can choose the ‘let us feed you’ option ($45), which is an assortment of dishes chosen by the chef.
Every time I’ve eaten at Propeller I’ve always ordered the baklava pudding with persimmon ice cream ($14) for dessert, and I can say with certitude that once you’ve tried it, you will never go back to sticky date pudding.
BY JAYDEN O’NEIL
222 Queen Victoria Street
Wednesday to Sunday 8am – Late